A rising star in economics takes a forceful and sometimes personal look at how pro-business forces overwhelmed the pro-market principles that made American capitalism great, and how to get it back on track. Born in Italy, University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales witnessed firsthand the consequences of high inflation and unemployment - paired with rampant nepotism and cronyism - on a country's economy. This experience profoundly shaped his professional interests, and in 1988 he arrived in the United States, armed with a political passion and the belief that economists should not merely interpret the world, but should change it for the better. In A Capitalism for the People , Zingales makes a forceful, philosophical, and at times personal argument that the roots of American capitalism are dying, and that the result is a drift toward the more corrupt systems found throughout Europe and much of the rest of the world. American capitalism, according to Zingales, grew in a unique incubator that provided it with a distinct flavour of competitiveness, a meritocratic nature that fostered trust in markets and a faith in mobility. Lately, however, that trust has been eroded by a betrayal of US pro-business elites, whose lobbying has come to dictate the market rather than be subject to it, and this betrayal has taken place with the complicity of America's intellectual class. Because of this trend, much of the country is questioning - often with great anger - whether the system that has for so long buoyed their hopes has now betrayed them once and for all. What we are left with is either anti-market pitchfork populism or pro-business technocratic insularity. Neither of these options presents a way to preserve what the author calls the lighthouse of American capitalism. Zingales argues that the way forward is pro-market populism, a fostering of truly free and open competition for the good of the people - not for the good of big business. Drawing on the historical record of American populism at the turn of the twentieth century, Zingales illustrates how current circumstances aren't all that different. People in the middle and at the bottom are getting squeezed, while people at the top are only growing richer. The solutions now, as then, are reforms to economic policy that level the playing field. Reforms that may be anti-business (specifically anti-big business), but are squarely pro-market. The question is whether America can once again muster the courage to confront the powers that be.
Full Product DetailsAuthor: Luigi Zingales
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Imprint: Basic Books
Dimensions: Width: 16.00cm , Height: 3.60cm , Length: 23.60cm
ISBN 10: 0465029477
Publication Date: 21 June 2012
Audience: General/trade , General
Publisher's Status: Active
Availability: In Print
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Table of Contents
<p> Bloomberg View<br> [F]ascinating.... Zingales provides an enormous service by laying out such persuasive evidence. National Review Online<br> [ A Capitalism for the People] is the book that hits closest to the mark on the question of where the American center-right ought to go in the next few years. Sacramento Bee<br> Zingales offers more than rehashed Friedman or Hayek. It's a book that should appeal to tea partyers and the Occupy Wall Street crowd. <br> Publishers Weekly<br> Zingales...presents a striking dichotomy....engaging. Financial Times<br> Zingales's fundamental diagnosis is right....[T]his remains a stimulating essay on the nature of American capitalism and the issues that will determine the pace of America's relative decline. Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen I know you have book fatigue, popular economics book fatigue, policy book fatigue, and books-with-subtitles-like-this fatigue, all at once. But this book is really, really good. It hits all the right notes, is clearly written, and refers to academics as the new crony capitalists. I agreed with almost all of it. If I had to pick out one book, of this entire lot of books, to explain what is going on right now to a popular audience of non-economists, this might well be it. J. Bradford DeLong, University of California, Berkeley<br> More than 30 years ago, Milton and Rose Director Friedman raised high the banner of small-government free-market libertarianism with their Free to Choose. Now, a generation later, income inequality is substantially higher, the globe is even more interconnected, and our partial financial deregulation has backfired badly. Luigi Zingales thus has a harder task as he tries to update the small-government free-market libertarian position for the 21st century. But he has done a very good job at it. <br> Robert J. Shiller, author of Finance and the Good Society<br> This remarkably creative book, driven by a strong moral conviction, offers a bold array of ide
Luigi Zingales is the Robert C McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, and the David G Booth Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. He lives in Chicago.
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